Transylmania Threatens, Narrowly Misses Delgo's Worst-Ever Opening
The Wrap today passed along word that Transylmania -- the self-distributed, R-rated vampire spoof that last Friday went up against as many as 15 films in some markets -- experienced the worst opening ever by a movie released on more than 1,000 screens. Indeed, its $263,941 gross in 1,007 theaters was a statistically unprecedented feat of futility in a way, but the worst opening ever? Worse even than last year's record-setting milestone Delgo? Almost, but not quite.
On the one hand, Transylmania is the first film to gross less than $300,000 when opening on 1,000 screens or more. The Passion Recut -- Newmarket's de-gored Passion of the Christ edit -- came awfully close to accomplishing that back in 2005, grossing $223,789 on 957 screens for a a staggeringly bad per-theater average of $223.
On the other hand, today's report for some reason doesn't even mention Delgo, the animated benchmark whose failure will likely never be surpassed. It made $511,920 in 2,160 venues, locking in a memorable $237-per-screen average -- handily undercutting Transylmania's own $262 average by roughly two viewers per theater. Delgo was all the more remarkable for taking down with it a voice cast featuring Oscar winners (Anne Bancroft, Louis Gossett Jr.), seasoned veterans (Val Kilmer, Burt Reynolds), and youngish C-listers (Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt). Transylmania? Not so much: Patrick Cavanaugh -- a/k/a Smitty from Mad Men -- is the highest-profile name to die in this particular fire.
Delgo is also quite famously history's lowest-grossing film to influence (accidentally or otherwise) a surefire billion-dollar blockbuster in Avatar. That is just another criteria Transylmania can look forward to someday, perhaps rubbing some of its college-kids-as-vampire-prey plot points off on to the Twilight franchise somewhere around the second half of Breaking Dawn. And then threatening a lawsuit, too, just to follow Delgo's legendary example. There's no shame in stealing from the best. Or the worst, that is. Whichever.
· Transylmania Sucks: The Worst Movie Opening Ever [The Wrap]